John Winton's previous books have all been amusing, readable stories about life aboard ship. H.M.S. Leviathan is his first straight navycum-adventure story. The ""Leviathan"" is the biggest ship in the British Navy; it is also the worst: ""jinxes"" abound, morale plunges, inefficiency and discontent soars. Commander Robert Markready is assigned to the ship, with orders to turn her into the pride of the Navy. He manages to do just that, only to be confronted with another, more basic problem: the utter newness of the New Navy--i.e., of the non-professional officer, indistinguishable (by Markready's standards) from the enlisted men except by virtue of uniform. Markready's despair over the future of a Navy entrusted to such semi-civilian hands is ultimately resolved, and he and his ship and his men sail off....A superior tale of life in the modern British Navy, well paced, with brisk, though terribly British dialogue, good characterizations, and substantially more psychological depth than most sea stories.